EPL

Dominic Solanke continues fine scoring form as Bournemouth cruise past Fulham

By Sports Desk December 26, 2023

Dominic Solanke continued his impressive scoring form with a second-half penalty as Bournemouth secured a 3-0 victory over Fulham at the Vitality Stadium.

Andoni Iraola made two changes from the Cherries’ win over Nottingham Forest, and they combined to create the opener as a fine run by Alex Scott set up Justin Kluviert’s opener just before half-time.

Solanke made Joao Palhinha pay for bringing down Antoine Semenyo inside the box shortly after the hour mark, before Luis Sinisterra put the icing on the cake with a third goal in stoppage time.

Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno’s frustrations got the better of him late on as he appeared to push a ball boy, later returning to apologise to the youngster who seemed to take the incident in stride.

It was Bournemouth’s first home contest since Luton captain Tom Lockyer suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch on December 16, and a pre-match on-screen tribute honoured those who had come to the Welshman’s aide, including Cherries midfielder Philip Billing who was widely praised for his alert response.

The Denmark international began his afternoon on the bench in favour of Kluivert, with Scott slotting in for the injured Lewis Cook.

It was a back-and-forth beginning to the encounter, Solanke with his first crack at a fifth goal in as many league appearances against the Cottagers and 12th of the Premier League campaign blocked by Tosin Adarabioyo.

The hosts, with boss Iraola watching from the stands as he served a one-game touchline ban, maintained their slight edge in the opening exchanges, with Fulham winning a handful of set-pieces but creating little in the way of chances.

A neat move from Semenyo to feed Kluivert nearly set up an opener but they were thwarted by an excellent intervention from Adarabioyo, who was also in the right place to deny a second decent opportunity for Bournemouth after Leno spilled a cross.

Adarabioyo’s headed clearance avoided any embarrassment, but the hosts were ahead at the stroke of half-time thanks to a brilliant run into the 18-yard box from 20-year-old Scott from near the centre circle and pass to Kluivert, who finished underneath Leno into the far corner.

Fulham, who had enjoyed a near-equal amount of possession in the first half, returned with more purpose to start the second as Antonee Robinson quickly called Neto into action from a tight angle.

It was just past the hour mark when Joao Palhinha sent Semenyo tumbling inside the area and the response from referee Tim Robinson was immediate, Solanke sending Leno the wrong way to double his side’s advantage.

Rodrigo Muniz had a chance to claw one back with a close-range volley, while Leno found himself in late trouble and was treated to a chorus of jeers when he appeared to push the ball boy.

Sinisterra’s cross was inches away from the outstretched foot of David Brooks as the Cherries sought a third.

Brooks had two more chances of his own, but it was Sinisterra who curled past Leno to seal a convincing home triumph.

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